Title: Shadows of Asphodel
Series: Shadows of Asphodel #1
Author: Karen Kincy
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Dieselpunk Romance
Publication Date: September 13th 2013
Available Formats: Paperback, E-book
Find it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: Author, Reviewed as part of Blog Tour
When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.
1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.
But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.
If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.
Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?
I’m admittedly a bit hesitant about self published books but upon recommendation from another reviewer who I trust…I took this one on and I was not disappointed…
Shadows of Asphodel completely gripped me from page one.
Karen Kincy’s writing is descriptive yet fluid: the perfect combination. I felt immediately immersed in this alternate world and bought into it from the beginning. The story flowed seamlessly and balanced the perfect line between delivering the information needed and leaving enough unanswered to keep me up late reading to see what would happen next. The dieselpunk aspect is lightly peppered in and is just enough to give the book a bit more of a distinctive flavor without being distracting from the actual plot.
Although I wouldn’t say that I felt a tremendous connection with either of the main characters, I did greatly like them and I was totally invested in what happened to them. Ardis is an amazing heroine: tough, smart and with just the right amount of vulnerable mixed in. I loved to see how she struggled with her own identity and managed to grow and open herself up by the novel’s conclusion.
Wendel captured me from his first words. I have a weakness for mysterious and tortured and he delivered in spades. Add in his special abilities, a healthy dose of charm, a smidge of arrogance and how smart he is and he’s a home run.
The romance between the two did develop a bit quickly for my taste…but I am much better able to forgive this sort of insta-love when the characters are caught in high pressure and dangerous situations like this two were. It never struck me as too unbelievable.
Swordplay, magic, zombies, robots….passion and revenge abound. Shadows of Asphodel will leave you completely satisfied…while still hoping and waiting for more.